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E-Learning Newsletter – April 2022

21 April 2022 Posted in: News Tagged: , By: Clare Driver

QMplus Hub upgrade

On Tuesday 26th April at 9pm we will be upgrading QMplus Hub, our e-portfolio system based on Mahara. The upgrade will bring much needed bug fixes and new features and a new fresh, modern look and feel.

There will be disruption to both QMplus and QMplus Hub while we perform the upgrade.

We’ve also developed some great new features in-house to support activities in the Schools of Engineering and Material Sciences and Business and Management in particular. We will be showcasing these in future newsletters.

For the time being, you can
find out more about some of the new core features that the upgrade will bring

Join us at the VLE Expo Conference on Monday 9th May

The Octagon, Queens Building
0930-1600 : Refreshments provided

The Future of Teaching and Learning Online
QMUL are undertaking a project to review Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs) in a post-pandemic landscape, in line with the 2030 Strategy focusing on digital education.

The project will identify a roadmap to a recommendation for the future of a VLE, fit for purpose to enable Queen Mary’s 2030 Education Strategy. The roadmap may involve the replacement of QMplus, or its strategic upgrade and enhancement. This review will not replace QMplus.

Join us on Monday 9th May for an exciting opportunity to discuss, share and hear from technology leaders, vendors and EdTech experts, in a conference showcasing the best in educational technologies for teaching and learning.

Your ideas, views and opinions will be invaluable to this review, so please come and ask questions of the leading providers of VLEs, and learn about the future roadmaps for creating innovation for students and teachers in communication, engagement, assessment, and delivery of teaching online.

We will be gathering your feedback through surveys, panel discussions and Q&A sessions during the day, which will contribute to shaping the future landscape at QMUL. This is vital to ensure all your experiences, and the future of teaching and learning, meets your requirements in the roadmap towards innovative digital education.

Come and start the conversation.

Please register your attendance.

Blackboard Collaborate decommissioning – 1st July

Blackboard Collaborate

After a review of Queen Mary’s videoconferencing platforms, it has been decided to
decommission Blackboard Collaborate from July 2022. Zoom and MS Teams are both alternative technologies available at QMUL that you may wish to consider using. In preparation for the decommissioning, workshops on the use of both of these technologies will be available from 4th May. Details of the workshops can be found in the next item on the newsletter.

Learn more about the decommissioning of Blackboard Collaborate on Connected.

New Zoom and MS Teams Workshops

The Technology Enhanced Learning Team has scheduled new workshops beginning in May, including:

Getting Started with Zoom: an overview of the basic functionality for using Zoom.

  • Wednesday, 4 May 10:00am – 11:00am
  • Tuesday, 24 May 10:00am – 11:00am

Zoom in Teaching: delving into the more advanced features such a breakout rooms and polling.

  • Wednesday, 4 May 11:15am – 12:30pm
  • Tuesday, 24 May 11:15am – 12:30pm

Getting Started with MS Teams: an overview of the basic functionality for using MS Teams.

  • Wednesday, 25 May 10:00am – 11:00am

MS Teams in Teaching: showcasing more advanced features of MS Teams, including collaboration tools and breakout rooms.

  • Wednesday, 25 May 11:15am – 12:30pm

A comparison of Zoom and MS Teams in teaching

  • Tuesday, 17 May 10:00am – 11:00am

For further details, additional workshops, and to book on to sessions please use the QMUL course booking system and search for the course code ‘TELT’.


Let’s meet…

This month we meet Malgo Miranowicz, Digital Learning Advisor in the School of Geography.

Malgo is currently leading the implementation of an online tutoring platform in the School of Geography as well as training and supporting staff with mixed mode delivery of learning.

Read more about Malgo

See who we’ve been getting to know so far in this series..

Zoom app changes for Chrome users

Google will be ending support for Chrome Apps on Chrome OS starting June 2022.

If you use the Zoom app on Chrome OS you will need to use a different way to access the platform. Learn more about Zoom’s progressive web application (PWA) for Chrome OS. This PWA will make it easier for Chromebook users to enjoy even more Zoom features on a Chrome device.

The PWA is installable from the Google Play store (click the link, or search for ‘Zoom PW’ or ‘Zoom for Chrome PWA’ in the Play store), and will appear as an application on your Chrome OS device.

Blackboard Ally

You will have heard that Blackboard Ally is being introduced on QMplus.
The Technology Enhanced Learning Team have been offering briefing meetings to our schools through our university wide Learning Technologists Group. We can offer a quick demonstration of Ally and discuss how a school accessibility improvement plan might be developed. If you still wish to arrange a meeting then please get in touch with Dawn Buzzard ( to arrange a briefing. Making resources accessible should be considered a journey and we are proposing schools develop a two year plan in the first instance and we will then review how much progress we have made in making our virtual learning environment more inclusive and our resources easier to access.

For further information, please read this quick starter guide.

Drop-in Sessions and Book a Learning Technologist

Have a quick query about any of our technologies? Why not drop in online to speak to someone from the TEL team…

** We have moved our online drop-in sessions from Blackboard Collaborate to Zoom **

Drop-in sessions are still available online (in Zoom) every Tuesday and Thursday, from 1-2pm. There’s no need to tell us you’re coming; just drop-in via the Zoom link located on our Online Support area on QMplus.

Please watch our short 1 minute video on how to log into Zoom via QMplus.

Should your enquiry require more discussion, please access the Book A Learning Technologist QMplus page to book a session of up to an hour to discuss your e-learning ideas and issues with one of our Learning Technologists.

We have a number of self-directed training areas online, for staff to proceed through at their own pace:

What are you asking the Helpdesk?

The top queries in March were related to… Releasing Grades and Feedback, and Turnitin issues
Read more in our common support questions article.

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